Supervising Faculty: Dr. Hassina Bilheux
Brianne has a strong background in nuclear science and engineering due to her undergraduate and previous graduate education. During her time at Missouri University of Science and Technology (MS&T), Brianne gained specific research interest in radiation detection and measurements in addition to nuclear imaging, nuclear physics, and energy science.
During the summers of 2014 and 2015, Brianne participated in the Nuclear Engineering Science Laboratory Synthesis (NESLS) internship program at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). In 2014, her work focused on developing a method for using solid state nuclear track detectors (SSNTDs) to detect fission fragments from rare, long-lived transuranic isotopes such as Cf-250. In 2015, Brianne helped construct a gamma imaging system to find manufacturing defects in NpO2 targets used to make Pu-238.
When not busy with classes or research, Brianne enjoys watching movies and TV shows. A few of her favorite TV shows include Scorpion, Grimm, and Once Upon a Time. In addition, Brianne and her husband Josh love to spend time at home with their two cats, Altair and Luna.
Brianne is pursuing a Ph.D. in Energy Science and Engineering with a focus on neutron resonance imaging. She is performing her research at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in the Chemical and Engineering Materials Division.
Research: Neutron resonance imaging is used to determine the elemental, or isotopic, composition of materials. Many isotopes display strong neutron absorption cross-section peaks at wavelengths shorter than 0.5 Angstroms. When a neutron’s wavelength (or energy) corresponds to a resonance, the neutron is absorbed. The peak happens at a wavelength unique to the isotope(s) under investigation. Heavy-Z materials are not opaque to neutrons; this allows three-dimensional (3D) mapping of isotope-specific materials. The Spallation Neutron Source provides a wavelength-dependent capability which is a prerequisite for the mapping of neutron resonances. Ideally, neutron resonance imaging will be used to 3D map materials such as those used in nuclear reactors or manufacturing processes.
Policy: Brianne is interested in nuclear energy policy related to the nuclear fuel cycle and the treatment and storage of nuclear waste.
Master of Science in Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences – University of Michigan
Bachelor of Science in Nuclear Engineering – Missouri University of Science and Technology
Awards and Recognitions
- 2015 – Nuclear Energy University Program Fellowship
Google Scholar Profile:
Google Scholar: https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=FLzn6k4AAAAJ&hl=en